Winning Rupert lost his aura of invincibility when he was beaten out of the placings in Saturday’s Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast won by $101 outsider Flying Jess.
Winning Rupert, the $1.65 favourite, suffered his first defeat in six starts when he finished fourth to the John Moloney-trained Flying Jess.
Trainer Bjorn Baker was gracious in defeat and wants to monitor Winning Rupert’s progress in the next few days before announcing future goals.
“My gut feel is he’s bred to be a 1200m horse and maybe the 1400 metres was a bit too far for him,” Baker said.
“He’s still run a good race to finish fourth and it’s a $2 million race so it’s worth having a crack.
“I want to see how he cools down and don’t want to make any decision on race day.
“The track is racing firm and maybe that had an effect but I don’t want to make any excuses.”
Winning Rupert was unable to lead in the Guineas, settling in third place behind Arbeitsam and Global Glamour before jockey Jeff Lloyd angled him into the clear upon straightening.
“On the turn I was very confident of winning and he went up to win in the straight but the last 100 metres he gave me nothing,” Lloyd said.
“Unless there’s something wrong with him I’d say he didn’t run the 1400 metres.”
Winning Rupert’s defeat overshadowed the win of Flying Jess, a $60,000 yearling purchase, but connections of the filly led raucous celebrations in the enclosure after the race.
Before Saturday, Flying Jess had won only one race from 11 starts and was coming off unplaced runs at her past six starts.
Moloney said Flying Jess’s relaxed attitude was a crucial factor in her victory.
“A few of the others were feeling the heat when they were being saddled but this filly was as a cool as a cucumber,” Moloney said.
“She hasn’t turned a hair since she’s been here and I’ve been very happy with her all the way through.”
It was a long wait for Moloney to enjoy success on Magic Millions day.
His only other Magic Millions runner was Pinezero, which finished sixth to Tereschenko in the corresponding race in 2006.
Co-trainer Gai Waterhouse was pleased with the effort of dual Group One winning filly Global Glamour to finish second, only a neck behind Flying Jess.
Global Glamour will return to Sydney where she will be aimed at the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill during the autumn carnival.